Problems With Google AdSense?

1 December, 2008

In the wake of Mumbai, the reaction from the digital realm has been expectedly huge.

One example is the #Mumbai tag used on Twitter.  As the FT says Twitter turns serious amid India terror.

One thing that has been a bit of a shock was a surprising rookie mistake from Google.  That is, AdSense was displaying ads for Terrorism against content about the attacks.

Google AdSense Showing Terrorist Ads

© Sanyam

I call this as a rookie as this is a basic use case that needs to be covered by any contextual ad engine.  If something as obvious as this has happened, then it must put a deep question of doubt about the quality of the ad to content matching with AdSense.


Bad Retail Shouldn’t Hid Behind the Downturn

26 November, 2008

Last night walked into Zavvi looking for a new Nintendo DS game and enjoyed a horrible retail experience.

It got me thinking, that in general retailing is a horrible experience and if the current economic climate forces companies to adapt to the Digital Age or fail then is that a bad thing?

My only worry is that the current UK examples of Woolworths and MFI are probably going to be typical where companies blame the economy rather than just own up to the fact they shouldn’t be around anyway.


No Kidding – Advertising has to Change – Conversation Time

23 November, 2008

conversation

AdViking is part of the vanguard so we “get it” – the future of advertising and marketing is all about conversations and engagement. Still it is always nice to see a post that support this with fresh discussions supported by big/old media greats like the New York Times – at their Multiscreen Mad Men event. SIA has a good cut of the key points – worth a read.


Google May Have Changed the Search Game (again)

21 November, 2008

AdViking is learning not to be to effusive about the efforts coming out of Google Labs but if the SearchWiki approach gets traction then I think they have done it again.

More details below but basic premise is that someone with a Google account can control their results set now by ranking, removing, adding notes and see what changes other users have done.

If this gets traction then this could be really big.  Think about all the additional data that Google is gathering here to improve their search results.  Forget semantic or the team of paid editors they have running, this is pure crowdsourcing.

By that, let’s say a search for Good Coffee brings back 10 results.

Of those 10. 2 people don’t bother to do anything.  8 changes things around.  Let’s just say that 5 people remove Starbucks from the top 10 list here…well than naturally this is a worthwhile improvement to be considered by Google.

Man, imagine what this is going to do to SEO.  And this quickly could rise to a whole new way of gaming the system…

RWW asked the Inventor of the Wiki what he thought and amongst other things, he says this:

They are going to get a lot of data. They obviously have the ability to wield information, let’s just hope that we will all benefit. I don’t think it’s obvious that we all will benefit – but I guess I have enough trust in the behavior of a large number of people.

For sure one to ponder, play around with and see what the impact is.

Here’s what they say about it:

Customize Your Search Results with SearchWiki

Google users now have more control over their search experience, thanks to our newest addition to Google Web Search: SearchWiki. With this new set of features, users can add, delete, re-sort or comment on search results for any query, to create a set of search results that’s customized just for them.

Just do a web search when logged in to your Google account, and check out all the new tools that are available. Now you can reorder results so that the site you prefer always appears first, delete a link from the search results that seems out of place, add a url so your favorite site always shows up for that search, or post a comment so you can remind yourself about a page’s content or provide recommendations to other users doing the same search.

These notes will only affect your search results pages and do not impact the ranking for other users when they search on Google. But to see even more information about what other users think about a search, check out the “All notes for this SearchWiki” link, which lets you see an aggregated view of which pages have been moved up, deleted or added, as well as the comments users have added for specific sites.

Here’s a video of it in action


Google Shutters Lively

20 November, 2008

Sad Lively Avatar

Google has announced they are closing their foray into virtual worlds, Lively.

On the surface it’s somewhat surprising news at it was only launched in July this year but talk across the blogosphere is that Lively hasn’t lived up to expectations. 

From looking quickly at Google Trends (with comparisons to imvu.com, clubpenguin.com and secondlife.com) it’s glaringly obvious that something wasn’t working here. 

Google Trends- lively.com, clubpenguin.com, imvu.com, secondlife.com_1227183027433

What’s of particular interest is that Lively.com is considered a blazen knock-off of imvu (apparently Google tried to buy the company and then when that failed, Google peeled off an imvu founder to lead the Lively project.)

As Jack Schofield wrote

Ahem, isn’t that the sort of thing Microsoft is supposed to do?


Yahoo! Lurches Along

18 November, 2008

Not sure if lurches is the correct thing but as broken on Twitter by Kara Swisher, Jerry Yang has agreed with the Yahoo! Board to step down as CEO once a replacement has been found.

  • paidContent has a list of potential replacements
  • John Battelle’s interview with Jerry Yang at the November Web2.0 Summit

Dead Wood: New York Times Offers Web Advertisers Free Slots in the Paper

14 November, 2008

Mashable wrote about the New York Times providing free space in the paper edition to people advertising in the online job section.

Very interesting and yes, there’s some discussion around the why and how for this but this isn’t anything knew (heard the same story last year at a German Computer Weekly type of magazine.)  what is new to AdViking is that a big brand is making this move.

This is for sure a theme to watch develop.  Digital Advertisers Get Free Paper Ads & Paper Only Advertisers Pay a Premium?